WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Multi-biome drones could have some very interesting applications, especially in the military …
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You’re used to seeing drones crossing oceans, swarms of drones chasing people through woods, and drones being armed and used to deliver donuts. But now a research team at the Chinese University in Hong Kong recently demonstrated that, despite giving off an aura of extraterrestrial technology to onlookers, it’s not out-of-this-world for objects to traverse between water and air in the blink of an eye.
This remarkable capability was highlighted by videos from various military branches showing Unidentified Aerial Phenomena performing such a feat.
Ben Chen and their team have unveiled a revolutionary new quadcopter prototype, the Mirs-X. Featuring eye-catching capabilities, including six minutes of flight or 40 minutes underwater at depths up to three meters, this robotic innovation is set to be presented in detail at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation – an event not soon forgotten!
See it in action
This hybrid marvel can soar through the skies like an eagle and swim underwater like a fish. With its impressive abilities, this revolutionary piece of hardware offers ground breaking opportunities for exploration, surveillance, scientific research, and more – opening up possibilities that have never been seen before.
Researchers achieved a feat of engineering ingenuity by equipping each motor with a dual-speed gearbox and rotating mounts to allow for the drones’ ability to manoeuvre in two separate environments. This ground breaking innovation has equipped these propellers with the capability to tilt toward their desired direction, allowing them complete control over fluid movements both above and below sea level.
For Mirs-X to be successful, precise propeller speed plays an essential role. As we all know, the air is far less dense than water, and the drone’s propellers should be able to spin fast to generate lift to hover and rise effortlessly.
Simultaneously, these propellers will slow down immensely when the drone reaches underwater to provide the much-needed thrust.
The Mirs-X prototype is pretty small in size, weighing barely 3.5 pounds and measuring just under 15 inches. However, Ben and his team hope to increase the prototype size to around 6 feet in the upcoming experiments.
The future model might include additional abilities, such as carrying and grasping underwater objects – despite warnings by New Scientist that attempting to make this drone completely waterproof may hinder its performance. It could provide invaluable assistance during search and rescue situations or surveying engineering projects if the challenges were overcome.